Darkness through inaction

I had the weirdest dream, it was dark. When I woke up, the cat woke me up and I was slightly weirded out. Everything was pitch black. Was I dead? Was I blind? I looked at my watch, and the time was bright green, I was not blind. I looked around, it took a lot longer than usual. It was the darkest black. I slowly walked to the wall, I turned the lights off and on, nothing happened. Then I remembered my emergency flashlight (better safe than sorry) and it gave some light. I looked around, everything was black. I walked to the windows and looked out, outside was black too, yet this was London, close to Hyde Park, no light anywhere. I walked to the kitchen and got the emergency tea lights and the candleholders. Over a dozen were placed all over the apartment, all IKEA and all working. Three in the living room, one in the bedroom, one in the kitchen, all whilst checking what had happened to the stove, there was gas so I placed the filled kettle on the stove. I inspected the apartment and I got a decent insight in the damage. There was no heating, there was no light, but there was gas and there were candles. 

This is not imaginary, people in Lebanon know what I am talking about and when we consider the Independent (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/gas-prices-rise-electricity-bills-b1935122.html) and they give us ‘Gas price spike will add £29bn to UK electricity bills next year, analysis finds’ yet this is only half the story, you see there is a growing shortage of electricity and it is getting worse. I had hoped for 2-3 more years, but that is less and less likely. So even as my version will not apply to many, but some will face it, it is now becoming heating versus light versus food. Yet there is a workaround. I spoke about it in the past. Even as Elon Musk has an advantage with his car battery, he is not alone and for plenty of applications there are alternatives. Consider a battery, rechargeable batteries, the size of 4 D-type batteries in a row. A stage where you can have one, a harness of two of those beauties linked to charge systems. And there are several solutions. In WW2 people used bicycles. So your home trainer becomes a more powerful charger. There are of course the solar panels, but it is not a solution for all, some will put some version of a wind-vane on their roof. All options to charge the batteries. So when we see that, we also need a new light source. Emergency lighting based on LED systems will come more and more into play, some are more festive and there are several solutions there. It is however a solution I saw in Sweden that could be the larger station. 

Swedish plug

This plug is a lot smaller than others and there is the station, an additional power net in every home and the people with decent DIY skills can do it themselves. And in the beginning it will be merely light and chargers, but over time we will see more and more shift to the low power consumption curve. In the Netherlands electricity prices went up by 57%, so how long until that is a setting no one can afford? Some state (using ‘could’) that electricity prices in the UK will rise by 30%, do you think you have a lot of time? And then we need to consider both the US and Canada, they might not be in the same boat, but they will see the prices rise too. As such the ideas I am giving you now are not new and not unique and taking notice of these dangers sooner rather than later is also important. There are solutions now and some are not elegant, not the prettiest, but they work and that will always be better than sitting it out in complete darkness. And in the stage where you can have 10 4 Watt LED’s are the equivalent of 10 30 Watt lightbulbs, it  is not a lot, but it might be enough and as the batteries are stronger you can have 8 hours with 10 8 Watts that compare to 10 60 Watt bulbs. Even though the bedrooms will suffice with 4 Watt solutions. And this situation is not that far away. The price hikes will force people to take that stand soon enough. And the sooner you can start, the better off you are because when 20,000,000 start on the same day the only people who will end up with lights are those willing to pay the 450% markup, commerce taught us that lesson in a pretty harsh way in the past already.

Feel free to take no notice, but when you forgot your Tea lights at IKEA and you wake up in complete darkness, it will be too late, I hope you will never face that. Yes, I admit that this setting in London is remotely small, but at present it is no longer zero, which is a setting you did not face a year ago, neither did you face a 30% price hike and that is now (by some) a speculated setting a mere year away.

Consider what you have, what you face and what could be and arm yourself for that situation, your choice, your consequence. And also consider the optional savings you make especially in a 30% price hike when you have a solution that takes 75% less energy, even if the battery is the last  part you get, you will already be making a saving.

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